San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation when he remained seated for the National Anthem during a preseason game on August 26, 2016. The discussion points are many: patriotism, race and racism in America, free speech, and even leadership. On Labor Day and every day, remember these eight points on Flag and national anthem etiquette.
- Stand up and face the flag when it is presented and when the national anthem starts. If you can’t see the flag, face the direction of the music.
- Your right hand goes over your heart when the music begins.
- Remove your hat with your right hand and place it over your heart.
- Display the flag proudly on these holidays.
- Display the flag sunrise to sunset only, weather permitted, unless it is fully lit at night.
- You can turn in your worn and tattered flags into the VFW or American Legion for proper disposal.
- In certain venues like sporting events, feel free to sing along. Know the words.
- Don’t answer your phone and or start a conversation when the anthem begins. Your conversations can wait.
Here’s a bonus tip.
- Remain standing and be polite when another nation’s anthem is played, e.g. hockey games against Canadian teams or diplomatic events. A little courtesy goes a long way.
We should feel proud of our flag and national anthem. Our country has rich history albeit a scarred one. No nation is without its faults.. While we continue to become better as a nation, do your civic duty and show proper respect to the United States flag and anthem.